Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Non-absolutist view of the unity and pluraity of mind

The cognition is a unity as well as a plurality. The contents are not absolutely different and distinct. A relation presupposes that two terms which were once apart are now held together. The relation is the cementing bond between them. Things which are absolutely autonomous and independent of one another cannot be brought into relation, or to put it the other way round, the relata have to shed their exclusive autonomy and discreteness if they are to be bound by a relation. So the terms of a relation are neither absolutely identical nor absolutely different. Absolute identify of the relata would annul the duality of the terms, which is a necessary condition of relation. Absolute difference, on the other hand, would never allow the terms to come into a point of contact, which is again the presupposition of a relation. Thus the affirmation of absolute unity of the cognition in spite of its relation to different contents is only an imperfect statement of fact. It is one and many at the same time. [my emphasis]

The Jaina Philosophy of Non-Absolutism by Satkari Mookerjee, p. 51